Series: Game 2 of 3

St. Louis leads 2-0 (as of 7/2)

Game 1: Monday, July 1
San Diego 3Final
St. Louis 7
Game 2: Tuesday, July 2
San Diego 5Final
St. Louis 11
Game 3: Wednesday, July 3
San Diego 1Final
St. Louis 4

Padres 5

(34-50, 12-29 away)

Cardinals 11

(44-36, 27-15 home)

    8:10 PM ET, July 2, 2002

    Busch Stadium I, St. Louis, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    SD 100130000 5 - -
    STL 24000500 - 11 - -

    W: M. Crudale (1-0)

    L: K. Jarvis (2-4)

    Cardinals continue dominance of Padres

    ST. LOUIS (AP) -- At least Bud Smith didn't lose this one.

    Placido Polanco

    Placido Polanco had three hits, including his fourth home run in 10 games, and three RBI as the St. Louis Cardinals overcame another shaky outing from Smith to beat the San Diego Padres 11-5 Tuesday night.

    The Cardinals, who have a seven-game winning streak against the Padres and are 23-3 against them the last three seasons, took a one-game lead in the NL Central over second-place Cincinnati. St. Louis will go for a series sweep Thursday behind 28-year-old rookie Jason Simontacchi.

    The 22-year-old Smith, who no-hit the Padres last September as a rookie, is 0-5 in eight starts this year with an 7.18 ERA and is winless since Sept. 22, 2001. Handed a 6-1 lead after two innings, he failed to get an out in the fifth inning as the Padres closed the gap to one run.

    ''You get six runs and you don't get a win, it's embarrassing,'' Smith said. ''It's frustrating. I don't know what to do.

    ''I'm out there knowing I need to get outs and I can't even get five innings in.''

    Polanco, Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols homered on consecutive at-bats off Kevin Jarvis (2-4) with two outs in the second for the Cardinals. St. Louis hit a season-best four homers Monday in a 7-3 victory over the Padres with Edmonds, Pujols, Miguel Cairo and Woody Williams connecting, and they have 10 homers in the last three games.

    When Polanco connected in the second, it gave him four homers in 37 at-bats. He hit one in his first 212.

    He's not sure where the power surge is coming from.

    ''I have no idea,'' Polanco said. ''I'm definitely seeing the ball better and getting better swings.''

    Ron Gant had three hits and three RBI for the Padres, who are 1-6 on an 11-game trip. Gant's two-run double chased Smith in the fifth.

    A five-run sixth, with Polanco and Edmonds each driving in a run and Tino Martinez capping it off with a three-run double off Rodney Myers, put the game away as the Cardinals took an 11-5 lead.

    ''Unfortunately, a lot of teams we're playing right now are looking good against us,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. ''We need to get our pitching in order. We're getting beat on pretty good.''

    Jarvis has made two starts since coming off the disabled list from a strained right elbow, totaling 5 2-3 innings. He's allowed 11 runs on 12 hits in that span and could go on the DL for a third time this year.

    ''I don't want to use my elbow as an excuse,'' Jarvis said. ''It's not super. I think we'll have to wait and see how the elbow responds. It's not like I'm in a lot of pain.''

    Mike Crudale (1-0) held the Padres to a sacrifice fly in the fifth that cut the gap to 6-5 after entering with no outs and runners on second and third. It was a save situation of sorts for Crudale, who had seven saves at Triple-A Memphis before being recalled on Sunday.

    ''That's the mentality I have,'' Crudale said. ''Every inning is a save, in a sense, in order to get to the next inning.''

    Game notes

    The last time the Cardinals hit three straight homers was April 6, 2000, when Fernando Tatis, J.D. Drew and victory at Busch Stadium. ... Albert Pujols of the Cardinals and Ryan Klesko of the Padres were fourth and fifth in a five-man Internet voting runoff to determine the 30th player for the NL All-Star team. ... Mark Kotsay had three hits and is 17-for-42 (.405) his last 10 games with seven RBI. ... Entering the game, Jarvis had allowed only two homers in 32 innings. ... Smith had showed signs of improvement before this game, posting a 3.07 ERA in three starts since being recalled from Memphis. ... The Cardinals have 35 hits the last three games, reaching double digits each time.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press